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Now Properly Labelled! (Language warning)

My players, $deity love 'em, have a pet name for me.  The story (which I will tell beneath the cut) goes back a number of years, and I take great pride in my nickname.  I run horror, for the most part, and if they don't cordially hate me, I'm not doing my job.  The trick is to scare the jeebers out of them, but to make it so intriguing and so personal that they keep coming back for more. 

So... this is how I became the Evil, Evil, B****

Evil, Evil B****I ran a monthly Chill game  from 1987 through 2000, with a year or so off near the end after I jumped the shark and had to take a break.  I was running "cliffhanger" style, ending each session just as something horrific was about to happen.  This, I reasoned, would keep 'em coming back each month (and, indeed, it did - or something did).

In this particular case, I'd been torturing one character, an archaeologist with the nickname "Dakota".  I'd killed her dog, kidnapped her husband, informed her that she was pregnant while her NPC husband was still missing, nearly killed him, blew up her house (twice - the second time was their own side, worse yet), and abducted, assaulted and nearly sacrificed her best friend. 

The party had rescued Helen, the friend, quite literally in the nick of time (she'd been drowned, the prescribed sacrificial method, but had been "dead" less than a minute), and applied CPR, rushing her to the hospital.

I glanced at the clock and noticed we were reaching the end of the session.  Dakota was in Helen's ICU room, and sensed that they weren't alone.  She nailed a "Sense Unknown" to the wall (01 - best possible roll) and realized that the Big Bad was right there in the room, invisible.

And I said... "The heart monitor goes beep... beep... beeeeeeeeeeeeep... And I'll see you all next month."

The player leaped to her feet and launched herself at me, shrieking "You evil, EVIL BITCH!"  Another player snatched her out of the air in mid leap while I ran for the kitchen and safety.  It took her a while to cool down.. but she stayed with my game till the end, and loved every minute of it.

This is why I run.  :: chuckle ::  It's a socially acceptable way to exercise my anti-social impulses.

PS: I got the badge made at Dragonfire Laser Crafts.


( 15 comments — Roll the dice )
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's great. I've had a few cliffhangers but never pulled off anything close to that.
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Thankee. I learned a lot about pacing as a GM from reading about screenwriting. "Let each scene end in disaster." "Scene and Structure" by Jack M. Bickham may be an exaggeration, but it's something I keep in mind as I nudge the flow of the story. I'm always watching for the next cliff that I can slip into their path. I don't think anyone plays RPGs so that their characters can have an easy life. Certainly not horror RPGs!

I have, over the years, become a surprisingly non-controlling GM (yeah, me the recovering control freak). It's something I learned from Erik Wujcik -- build the world, know what motivates the NPCS (both antagonists and allies) and what's going on at the meta level, and let your players discover the story.

That doesn't mean that I don't prepare things -- after all, Unspeakable Evil may have eternity, but there's no reason to waste time! I just don't get bent (and am ready) if the players decide to go somewhere else entirely.
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
I always wondered where that came from, though to me you'll always be Sunshine :-)
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
I cherish that nickname too. You're the only person to ever call me "Sunshine", and it always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Jan. 9th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Awesome cliffhanger :)
Jan. 9th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
Seconded! Excellent use of Rat Bastard DM technique.
Jan. 9th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
:: bows :: Thank you both.
Jan. 9th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
"This is why I run."

"Run" as in "DM", or "run" as in "flee from the scene"? Both seem to be applicable definitions in this case. ;-)
Jan. 9th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
:: chuckle :: Run as in DM. I'm actually not very agile, as you probably know...
Jan. 9th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Was that THE Dakota, long-time associate of the Countess Erzebet Bathory?

How is she doing?
Jan. 10th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
Yes, THE Dakota. Unfortunately I haven't heard from her for a while.
Jan. 9th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, seems that one of the first times you ran me in a horror rpg, you sleep spelled all 4 gun bunnys at once and threw them in the nearby canal to drown. We also survived, gasping for breathe in a putrid Venicean canal. A peculiar predeliction for drowning :)
Jan. 10th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
Heh. It was color spray, actually... and I just didn't have the heart to have him just slit your throats, so I had him push you into the canal. Humiliation, plus you might have drowned.

Ahhh... good times, good times.
Jan. 10th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
And to think I've seen you recoil in abject terror during a game myself... of course, that was a certain Ghostbusters game at U-Con shortly after I began the first musical number.

"Maria! I just met a troll named Maria!"

Jan. 10th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC)
:: shudder :: I do remember... and it's been QUITE a few years!

:: snerk ::
( 15 comments — Roll the dice )

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